Defining Revolution- Second Generation Theorists Essay

Defining Revolution- Second Generation Theorists Essay

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Defining Revolution
Second Generation Theorists
Both Samuel Huntington and Charles Tilley are considered to be a part of the second generation of theorists that deal with the issue of revolution. These theorists view revolutions in conjunction with a pluralist approach which considers events to be the outcome of conflict between competing interest groups428*. Both theorists viewed revolutions as the ultimate political conflict which would ultimately destroy the political system to which the revolution was opposed. In order for a revolutionary situation to occur multiple sovereignty must be present; that is highly opposed competing interest groups must exist within a state and must both have the necessary resources to attempt to achieve their revolutionary goals*.
Huntington defines revolution as the result of a state in which rapid mobilisation of new groups and social change is taking place while the necessary organisational organs are unable to appease the wants of the people and provide change at a matched pace 430*. The effect of such mass mobilisation and the significant increase in political participation intends to destabilise the current political institutions within the state. During phases of modernisation, Huntington suggests that such expansion should be matched with similar paced development of political institutions in terms of their complexity and autonomy in order to minimise and contain the effect of modernisation by political institutions*. Huntington equates modernisation with political decay and therefore suggests criteria by which political institutions can attempt to maintain political relevance. These criteria include; complexity, autonomy, coherence and adaptability. It is suggested by Huntington that if a...


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...efining social revolutions seems to attempt to change the way that the study of revolution is conducted as will be illustrated below.



Works Cited

Davies, J. C. 1962. Toward a theory of revolution. American sociological review, 5-19.
Goldstone, J. A. 1980. Theories of revolution: The third generation. World Politics, 32(3), 425-453.
Hague, R., Harrop, M. & Breslin, S. 1992. Political Science: A Comparative Introduction. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Schaff, A. 1973. Marxist Theory on Revolution and Violence. Journal of the History of Ideas, 263-270.
Skocpol, T. 1979. States and social revolutions: A comparative analysis of France, Russia and China. Cambridge University Press.
Skocpol, T. 1988. Social revolutions and mass military mobilization. World Politics, 40(2), 147-168.
Tilly, C. 1973. Does modernization breed revolution?. Comparative Politics,5(3), 425-447.

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